Play and Learn – CellCraft

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I would have liked to have known about this game last semester, when we were doing Unit 1: Cells. CellCraft is a free, on-line, educational game where you can build a cell by adding cell organelles, collecting glucose, making ATP and then fight off viruses. This game was made possible by a grant from the Digital Media & Learning Competition. The goal was to make a truly educational game that was also genuinely fun to play. The game will soon have an open forum and eventually downloadable teacher materials.

When you play the game however, be aware that it does not model evolutionary processes – cell organelles did not just ‘appear’ when they were required by the cell. Modelling evolutionary processes would involve a far more complex and time-consuming program. The game helps you to learn and remember the names and functions of various cell organelles. There is a long and somewhat interesting discussion about creationism vs evolution with reference to this game on the Geek Dad blog. In my opinion, the game has achieved it’s goal of assisting students to understand cellular structures and processes in an engaging and student-friendly way.

2 thoughts on “Play and Learn – CellCraft

  1. Jalen W

    I followed the link in your post, and I am very impressed with the game. As an aspiring biology teacher, I see a lot of value in this resource. I have already taught the cell biology unit to my 9th and 11th grade biology students, but formative assessments always revealed that students were having the most trouble understanding the name and function of cellular organelles. Even after we diagrammed cellular components and modeled the properties of various organelles, students seemed to constantly mix up the information they learned. The best part about this game is that it lets students process, model and learn about each organelle at their own pace. It combines some of the approaches we used in the classroom, and I think it will help students connect their experiences to the material in a memorable way. Thank you for the tip!

  2. brittgow Post author

    Thanks for your comment Jalen. Some simulations are more useful learning tools than others in Biology and I need to remember to introduce this one to next year’s Biology class!

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